Update 6/15: Olivine is not raining down on Hawaii from the Kilauea eruption—at least not in the way that the photos circulating on social media suggest. Geologists from the and say the olivine crystals in the photos are likely not from this eruption, which they say is olivine poor. Trace amounts of olivine could be embedded within some of the volcanic rocks that spew out of the volcano, but these mineral specimens are tiny and would not rain down in the manner suggested.
Hawaiian residents have been dealing with the fallout of an angry volcano ever since Kilauea began erupting on May 3. Sometimes the mount spews hot fire, endangering citizens. But right now, it's also spewing green crystals.
These stones are known as . They're common minerals found the world over, and seeing them in Hawaii is nothing out of the ordinary. Finding them because of a volcanic eruption, however, is something that doesn't happen every day.
According to geologists at the University of Hawaii, the crystals are carried along with lava out of the volcano and into the sky. Some of that lava instantly cools in the air. When that happens, it turns into a rock known as pumice. The transformation is so sudden that gasses are trapped within the pumice and force their way out, leaving the rock lighter and full of holes. From these holes, olivine rains over the island.
As far as silver linings go, getting littered with shiny, harmless green crystals is pretty good. But the island of Hawaii, one of the five islands that make up the state, has been sent through the ringer with the explosion of now stretching well into its second month.
Kilauea has been an influential force on Hawaiian history, continually changing the nature of the island. Now Hawaiians wish it would take a break.